Thoughts Sans Boundaries

Is there a real alternative to climate problem?

Posted in musings by Aditya Moorthy on July 28, 2008

The Indian government won the vote of confidence and there is jubilence in many quarters. What brought this political uncertainity was the deal that the present government wanted to sign with United States for nuclear technology transfer so India can meet its energy demands.

There is a great demand for energy everywhere as we become more and more technology dependent and our per capita consumption is increasing every year. The biggest source of energy known to us is fossil fuel (coal, oil etc) and nuclear fuel. Any casual reader of any news source will know that both these energy sources has significant environmental impact. One increases CO2 in the atmosphere and thereby warms up the planet and the other creates nuclear waste which is poisonous.

When one considers deeply on any other form of alternative like solar, wind or wave power, none of them offer the critical quantum that is required to make it meaningful and all of them require huge investments. So in a nutshell, there isn’t any other form of energy source that is safe, abundant, cheap and requires little additional investment to deploy without re-engineering all that has already been produced. That leaves us with a situation that there is no ‘real’ solution to the problems we are facing today such as climate change and its implications.

If at all we are serious and totally understand where we are taking the humans as a species (as well as our little planet and its other inhabitants) in the current environment, I think we need to reduce our consumption drastically. Reducing consumption is obviously not good for the economy and the comfortable life styles that we are used to but the alternate is very scary – unrest among many developing and under-developed countries, threat of terrorism and envy, environmental destruction, massive movement of population and an impractical strain on the resources of this planet. It may feel good now as we still have some resources left to tackle these problems. But we are not very far from a situation that the current resources will run out and the latent problems will surface like a huge monster.

So, reduce consumption (I mean avarice consumption) thereby indirectly bring about a better future for this planet.

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  1. Henry Galt said, on August 9, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Luckily we have nearly 200 years of cheap, easily extractable oil and more of both in coal. If we don’t evolve by then we deserve to die off. I somehow think we will develop new technologies well before then.


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